Community. You take a collection of people in a geographic area and call that a community. But being a community is a continuous endeavor. It’s that feeling of belonging, that members matter to one another, and everyone is committed to the greater group. It takes everyone, fulfilling small and large roles, to make a place where folks want to live, work, and raise their families.

As the new Constituent Services Director, I’ve spent the last few weeks taking tours, meeting employees, and learning about the in-and-outs of various departments. I can say without reservation the Pierce County team is dedicated to building community in big ways! The fervor is widespread!

But as we diligently strive day-to-day for a better community, we also need friends, family, and neighbors to guide us. The county’s Boards and Commissions, all 46 of them, help provide feedback and advice on everything from firearms to handicapped accessibility to noxious weeds. They touch our home values through the Board of Equalization, our children’s parks through the Parks and Recreations Citizen Advisory Board, and the protection of domestic violence victims through the Family Justice Center Executive Board. Lodging taxes, elected officials’ salaries, and land use all have their own boards and commissions. The list goes on and on…

And serving on a board or commission, like everything else in life, takes the right people. People with a strong sense of civic duty and commitment to their neighbors. Some positions require neighbors from certain geographic regions like Lakewood or Orting, with certain professional experience like law or engineering, and some are just for concerned citizens.

Once selected, your neighbors are appointed by Executive Dammeier and approved by the County Council. They even have a County Resolution naming them to the board or commission. No one’s race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or political affiliation can limit their ability to serve.

And to this end, I ask all of you to reach out to your friends, family, and neighbors. At coffee houses, bowling alleys, parks, ice cream parlors, and diners, spark that conversation. Offer Pierce county residents a way to engage with local government and advise us in developing this community. Engender the same sense of duty and determination you bring to Pierce County every day by asking for their help on boards and commission. It takes everyone, in small and large ways, to keep Pierce County a great community!

We currently have dozens of positions available or coming available soon. Applying is easy! Find the Board or Commission of interest here and have them submit their application to me. The instructions are on the application.


Nima Sarrafan is the Director of Constituent Services for Pierce County.

The opinions expressed in the blog are his own.